Fresh off last night's win over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, the Rebels get right back to work against the Spokane Braves tonight (7:30, Complex). Last time we saw Spokane here, it was Game 5 of last year's first-round playoff series; a 5-3 Spokane win paced by a Dylan Tappe hat-trick gave the Washingtonians a 3-2 series lead en route to a Game 6 win on home ice.
The Rebels were impressive last night in Fruitvale, scoring 4 third-period goals on route to a 5-2 win that saw them relinquish only 13 shots on goal. Andrew Walton made his return to the lineup and made 11 saves.
Pink Power Play: The Rebels will be wearing pink skate laces and using pink stick tape in what they're calling the "Pink Power Play" in support of the fight against breast cancer. The colorful addition to their uniforms is also in concert with tomorrow morning's CIBC Run for the Cure, which begins at the Complex at 10:00.
Last Meeting: Tonight's game is the second meeting between the two teams. Ryan Aynsley's third-period tally lifted the Rebels a 4-3 win at Eagles Ice-A-Rena last Sunday. As with all the Rebels' divisional opponents, they face Spokane a total of 8 times this season.
Our Opponent: Several familiar faces have left the Spokane Braves since last they visited. Gone are offensive focal points Tappe, Uriah Machuga, Chip Petrino and Jake Peterson, while the defense corps no longer includes the likes of Matt Tyson and Chase Wharton. Goaltender Cash Ulrich is also gone. That said, these Braves don't lack punch. Rance Hughes and Mitch Fowler lead the way offensively with 5 goals each (a game summary from last night's 5-2 loss to Revelstoke hadn't been posted to the KIJHL website at time of writing), and super-pest Joel Stewart has already racked up 38 PIMs in 5 games.
In the Press Box: I spoke with Rebels forward Spencer Brodt at the game in Beaver Valley last night, he says he'll be back in the lineup "hopefully tonight." Tyler Robinson has served his two-game suspension and should dress. Spokane will be without promising 16 year-old Nick Farmer, who's nursing a broken arm and will be lost for several more weeks.
Broadcast Info: We'll have the pay-per-view webcast at kijhl.ca tonight beginning at 7:30.
Fri. 10/08 @ Creston Valley, 6:30 PM
Sat. 10/09 vs. Beaver Valley, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/15 vs. Nelson, 7:30 PM
Sat. 10/16 @ Grand Forks, 7:30 PM
Fri. 10/23 vs. Spokane, 7:30 PM
Out of Town: Only one other game involving a Neil Murdoch division team, as Beaver Valley welcomes the Revelstoke Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are one of two still-undefeated teams in the KIJHL, Fernie being the other.